The Utah Education Association: Working For You
The UEA serves its educator members and promotes public education and the education profession in Utah. Here are a few examples of the UEA in action:
- The UEA and its affiliates have achieved recent victories, including:
- The UEA worked collaboratively with Utah legislators and other stakeholders to create and pass Public Education Employment Reform legislation. Original versions of the legislation would have been detrimental to public school employees.
- Following UEA input, the Utah State Board of Education did not approve draft legislation – submitted by State Supt. Larry Shumway – that would have made educators “at-will” employees.
- Following UEA input, the Utah State Office of Education will apply for NCLB waivers.
- The Ogden Education Association and the Ogden City School District agreed to collectively bargain educator contracts. OEA will be recognized as the bargaining agent.
- The UEA was able to obtain an NEA legislative crisis grant that will help the Association deal with legislative priorities.
- Local superintendents, school board members, and business administrators have written a joint statement, “respecting the right of school employees to come together and talk about working conditions with their local leaders and representatives.” The Utah PTA prepared a similar statement, encouraging collaboration between teachers and school districts.
- The UEA Convention & Education Exposition
The annual UEA Convention includes professional development workshops for K-12 educators, keynote speakers, hundreds of exhibitor booths, a New Educators’ Workshop and a teacher “Idea Fair”.
- New Educators’ Workshop
This free, one-day workshop, held during the UEA Convention, is for students in teacher preparation programs and educators in their early years of teaching. The event features professional development classes, classroom-tested lesson plans, and a keynote speaker to motivate and inspire educators.
- Utah National Board Coalition
As a member of the UNBC coalition, the UEA helps to sponsor teacher summits, an annual celebration dinner to honor new National Board Certified Teachers, and an Educator Day on the Hill to honor newly certified teachers at the Utah State Capitol.
- School Improvement Grants
As part of a national Priority Schools Campaign, the UEA provides intensive support to schools receiving School Improvement Grants. At Glendale Middle School, for example, the NEA, the UEA, the Salt Lake Teachers Association and the Salt Lake City School District are providing professional development opportunities on team-building, cultural competency, and community outreach and parent engagement.
- PTA ‘Golden Apple’ Awards
The UEA co-sponsors the annual 'Golden Apple' teacher and school volunteer awards with KUED, the Utah PTA and other partners.
- ‘Excellence in Teaching’ Awards
The UEA, along with the Arch Coal Foundation, annually presents “Excellence in Teaching” Awards to 10 Utah educators. The awards are presented during a “Superstars in Education” celebration held in conjunction with the UEA Convention.
- The UEA Children At Risk Foundation
The non-profit Children At Risk Foundation distributes grants to teachers serving at-risk populations, provides tutoring services in schools that do not meet federal standards and delivers other services to students in need.
- ‘Prepared Not Scared’ / ‘Future Educators of America’
Hundreds of college seniors preparing to enter education receive assistance with resumes, mock interview training, Praxis test preparation, and other support each year as part of these student programs. The programs are conducted in conjunction with the college of education at several Utah universities.
- Member Benefits and Discounts
UEA and NEA member benefits programs provide exclusive access to discounts on a variety of products and services, often saving members more than the cost of member dues.
- Advocating for Public Education
Despite educators’ best efforts in the classroom, much of what they want to accomplish is out of their control. Decisions about everything from curriculum and class size, to budgets for classroom supplies, to salaries and benefits, are made in large part by elected officials and appointed policymakers. That's why the UEA helps teachers band together to advocate for legislation and policies that benefit Utah public education.
- Communications and Public Relations
The UEA maintains an active communications and public relations program to share information with its members and the community. This program includes the UEA member website, member newsletters, an active campaign to support Utah public education, and the UtahsFuture.org public website.
- National Affiliation
The UEA is an affiliate of the 3.2 million-member National Education Association, America’s oldest and largest organization committed to advancing the cause of public education. Two members of the UEA Board of Directors are also members of the NEA Board of Directors (see their most recent report).
- Teacher Representation
The UEA represents Utah teachers in a variety of ways:
- President is a member of the Governor’s Education Commission;
- President is a member of the National Commission on Effective Teaching;
- Represent Utah teachers on the Governor’s Literacy Commission;
- Representation on policy taskforces at the Utah State Office of Education;
- Participation in a variety of community committees, boards and taskforces;
- Legal representation for individual teachers; and
- Assist local affiliates with teacher contract negotiations in individual school districts.
In addition, local school district affiliates represent teachers on a variety of committees and taskforces.
Benefits of Membership